At this point, I can’t even spin and I see at least three spinning wheels in my future. What is wrong with me that I can’t do anything within reason? Everything has to be excessive! Seriously, it doesn’t bother me. I figure when I leave this world, I’m not taking anything with me so anything I want to do/try/buy . . I’m going to do it and I’m going to love doing it . . or, I’m not going to do it! Since we’ve gotten rid of so many chickens, I told Vince . . we can clean and sanitize the newest coop, insulate it, put an a/c in it and make it a spinning room! I think it’s about 18′ x 24′. He didn’t say yes and he didn’t say no but I think the look he gave me was a pretty emphatic NO! But I’m not ruling it out at this time. I have so many great ideas and he so often fails to see the value in my great ideas! 🙂
Anyway . . at the classes near Austin, we were able to try the different wheels and we were able to rent a wheel to bring home. Think about it like this. Suppose you had never touched a sewing machine and this morning you got up and decided to go buy one. You had never heard of half the brands . . didn’t have a clue what machines did what . . didn’t know about a walking foot, dual feed, embroidery capabilities . . and you walked into a shop that carried every brand of sewing machine and all the models of each brand. You stand there wide eyed, mouth gaping open, drool running down your chin and fear creeping up your spine. You look at the price tags and smell the credit card in your wallet begin to smoke. That’s exactly how I felt and worse . . Vince was with me and the first thing he looked at was the price and, as always, the first thing he said is “Why on earth do these things cost so much?” He’s said the same thing about my Bernina sewing machine (and I have the low end models), the longarm, the SUV, the loom . . yarn . . that’s his standard comment and I think he’s probably wondering, but has been smart enough not to say it . . why does having a wife costs so much money! 🙂
Initially, I was drawn to the Ashford Joy. After spinning on it for a while, I wasn’t feeling much love. I didn’t know what I was doing so I was sure any wheel I used wasn’t going to be something I fell in love with right off the bat. I switched to a Kromski Minstrel wheel, which I kinda liked the feel but for me, it didn’t feel real stable and a whole lot of that is probably because I’m so unstable with my spinning right now.
As far as beauty, and I do think a spinning wheel should be pretty, I could have walked out of there with the Majacraft Rose. It was one of the prettiest wheels in the shop.
The reality for me is this: I want a wheel I am comfortable with. I want a wheel that has a good reputation. But, until I know that this is something I’m going to be able to do well, I’m going to love dying my own yarn, I’m going to love knitting or weaving with the yarn I’ve spun, I’m just not spending int he $1,500 range.
You know how some of us are with brand loyalty. I had tried out and researched a bunch of rigid heddles before buying my loom and I was sold on Schacht almost from the very beginning. Even though I don’t use it a lot, I’m still impressed with the quality so in the back of my head, I figured I’d end up with a Schacht spinning wheel. This little Ladybug is a very popular model and it runs between $600 and $700. My thinking is this: It’s fairly portable and if I end up spending time at my parents with them, or with Chad, Nicole and Addie, I could bring this with me . . probably more to mom and dad’s than to Chad’s because I could see Addie treating it like some kind of exercise machine. If we end up with two places once we retire, I could carry this one easily back and forth.
I rented the Ladybug to bring home and we’ve been playing with it and Vince seems real interested in it but . . do you remember when he was interested in sewing, and then he was going to learn to knit?
About those other two wheels that I anticipate getting . . when I first began talking about spinning, a friend told me that she had an old wheel that needed some work but she would give it to me if we wanted to restore it. I didn’t really want to ask Vince to restore it because he has so much else to do; I didn’t want to take it and leave it sitting in the shop and never do anything with it but I really wanted it because it’s the traditional, saxony type wheel.
While we were at the spinning shop this weekend, the lady was showing us an older wheel that someone had given her and it had needed some repairs. On the way home, Vince said “Can you imagine someone just giving you an old wheel, and being able to restore it to perfection?” Well . . yes, I can imagine! I told him the story and he is pretty excited to get that one so I talked to my friend and we’re working to figure out how to get that one from her to me.
And for the third one, some of you quilters know Lisa Boyer. Her husband, Clayton, has plans for building what they call a Zephyer portable wheel so Vince ordered the plans for that and he’s thinking he might make one of those. I would love to have a wheel made by Vince. It would be so nice that once I halfway know what I’m doing, since he built it, we’d both gain more knowledge about how all the wheels work and how to tweak them to better suit our needs and feelings. With Vince already being a woodworker, that’s a great project for him!
As you can see, I will be needing a new room for all my spinning wheels! 🙂 I probably shouldn’t mention that to Vince just yet though.